Those dreaming of a white Christmas this year should pack up their pillow and head to Pollock Pines, because that’s your best shot at spending the holiday in a winter wonderland less than 15 miles from Placerville and not far from other areas of the West Slope of El Dorado County.
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It may not snow at the 4,000-foot level that cradles Pollock Pines by Saturday, Nov. 16, when the community has its first-ever Holiday Gift Bazaar in the Pines, but the merriment that will blanket the event will get everyone into a holiday mood.
Sponsored by the Dogwood Garden Club and Pollock Pines/Camino Community Center, the gift bazaar will fill the Community Center, 2675 Sanders Drive, with unique arts and crafts by local artisans, ready to purchase as Christmas gifts for those wishing to give a personalized, one-of-a-kind treasure to a friend or loved one. In addition to the offerings from local craftspeople, members of the Boys and Girls Club will have a selection of their hand-made items perfect for gift-giving.
“The idea for the Holiday Gift Bazaar in the Pines came about as a conversation I had with some members of our garden club who are also crafters,” said the Dogwood Garden Club’s Mary Bourn. “Our fundraising team this year did many, many raffle baskets that consisted of their crafts that they donated to make these baskets. We also had donations from many merchants as well. We raised over $4,000 this year to distribute to our community.”
Those donated items now are tucked into gorgeous gift baskets to raffle during the holiday bazaar, Bourn explained.
“Cathy Stallar from Ship Shape USA (near 50 Grand restaurant) took all of our items and made beautiful gift baskets for use to sell raffle tickets. She did this at no charge for our garden club,” Bourn added. “Her baskets are works of art. I told Cathy that I wanted to do a gift bazaar as a way to showcase the unique and very creative artists that are in this community.”
Bourn said at first she figured the event would be a members-only shindig, but then she thought, “Why not let all the entire community see what is in their own back yard?
“Holiday Season was coming and what a nice way to promote shopping locally and at the same time to support the people in this great community,” she said.
Bourn and the garden club approached the Community Center folks, and the idea was quickly embraced. In fact, the center will be handling the food portion of the event, with plenty of seasonal soups, sandwiches and hot and cold drinks available, along with yummy baked items during the event, which is free to the public, with plenty of parking.
And although Santa won’t be able to attend just yet, keeping his elves busy up North, Bourn said the popular “Santa’s Chair” will be prominently displayed, promising children that their favorite fella is “Coming Soon.”
“The Rotary Club does a ‘Breakfast with Santa’ at the Community Center on Dec. 7,” Bourn explained. “The anticipation at seeing the ‘Santa’s Chair’ inspires the wonder of each child’s imagination.”
The big guy himself won’t be missed too much, however, as a few “helper elves” from the Boys and Girls Club will entertain the kids and assist them in buying “secret” gifts during the Holiday Gift Bazaar in the Pines, which runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Bourn said those on the fence about traveling to Pollock Pines for the event should remember that what they purchase is likely to be quite special.
“Shoppers would benefit from the gift bazaar because the artisans are selling the products that they make, with a personal connection made with the artist and the lucky person buying the item. They can ask questions, get information on the particular item and learn a story that goes with the craftwork.
“It is a more personal experience,” she said.
The Dogwood Garden Club has been active in the Pollock Pines community for years, with numerous projects that benefit area residents. The club has two plots at the Community Garden where the harvest is donated to the Community Center. Members also help with the “Memory Garden” at Pinewood Elementary School and they work to keep the flower boxes at the entrance to Sly Park Lake maintained.
“We do our version of ‘Daffodil Hill’ across from Safeway and we will be decorating the Community Center and local business for the holidays,” Bourn added.
In addition to the usually white Christmas that typifies Pollock Pines, Bourn said the area always rises to the occasion during the season.
“From the dressing of the town in holiday attire, all the trees with lights and, yes, even the snow that covers the branches, it is quite magical,” she said. “It is inspiring to see the community rise to the occasion, whether it be the free Christmas dinner open to everyone at the Community Center in December to the collection of toys for children and food pantries at local churches that need to be filled — it is what happens when many people have the same common goal for the good of all.”
For more information about the Holiday Gift Bazaar in the Pines call Mary Bourn at 530-644-4832.